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Elías loses out in the title chase after a wet and difficult Australian GP

Elías loses out in the title chase after a wet and difficult Australian GP

Elías loses out in the title chase after a wet and difficult Australian GP

The hopes of Toni Elías to mount a late and dramatic push for title success were washed away by the stormy conditions in Australia. Sustained in the last few weeks with a relentless and emphatic charge of pole positions and victories, his chances of capturing the number one plate faded with every passing circulation of the 25 lap race distance in the wet mainly thanks to a set-up for the rain which was hit-and-miss and saw the Catalan riding with an obvious handicap.

Elías finally crossed the line in 11th position, not so far away from standings leader Manuel Poggiali, who was 9th, but the points difference was enough to quash his aspirations with just one GP remaining: "I was having a great weekend in the dry but come Sunday, and with the rain, it turned into a total disaster," he said. "This year, and I don't know why, I have not found a good set-up for the wet, the bike was just skating around, almost un-rideable…and to fight was impossible. I could have crashed at any moment," he added right after the race.

Elias tried to remain positive in arguably his lowest moment, rivalling the crash on the last lap in Rio, that effectively put him out of the running: "This is the way things are and we cannot change them. What is more important is that once again I was in a position where I was challenging for the World Championship. After all has passed I have gained a lot of experience from the events of this season. For sure I did not lose the title here, or in Rio, it was a culmination of things," he reflected. "We were not consistent between the first eight races and this is what put us in this situation, but I want to repeat again that I am glad I was able to fight for the title. It wasn't meant to be, but we have many more years to try and win a Championship."

Trailing Poggiali by 27 points and 20 behind Roberto Rolfo in second, the young rider of the Repsol Teléfonica Movistar still has a chance of the number two plate even though he is now placed 13 points away from De Puniet and Fonsi Nieto with the prospect of a home GP and intense finale to what has been an action-packed year of 250cc racing.

250cc, 2003

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